Trending News Today: New Policy Allows Medicare Advantage Plans to Negotiate Drug Prices

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare Advantage plans will be able to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers in an effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs, The Hill reported. According to the article, the policy aims to allow Medicare Advantage plans access to the same tools as private insurers to lower the cost of treatments delivered in a physician office or hospital under Medicare Part B. The change will affect more than 20 million individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, the article reported.

A new study released by the CDC has found that 1 in 7 babies exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy continue to have ongoing health issues, the Washington Post reported. According to the article, data were analyzed from a registry of 1450 children whose mothers were confirmed through lab tests to have been exposed to Zika while pregnant. Six percent of the children suffered from birth defects and 9% had at least 1 neurodevelopmental issue, such as seizures or difficulty swallowing, the article reported.

The World Health Organization announced that they are beginning to carry out Ebola vaccinations in Congo’s latest outbreak, the Associated Press reported. According to the article, genetic analysis has confirmed the virus strain in this latest outbreak is the Zaire strain. Congo’s health ministry said at least 9 people have died in the country’s tenth Ebola outbreak, the article reported.